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Combo Tx Using Glycolic Acid, Iontophoresis Effective in Acne

Chemical peeling and subsequent iontophoresis with vitamins A, C, E successful in five patients

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Adjuvant combination therapy with chemical peeling using glycolic acid and subsequent iontophoresis with vitamins A, C, and E seems to be effective for severe acne vulgaris, according to a letter to the editor published online Aug. 6 in the Journal of Dermatology.

Ichiro Kurokawa, M.D., from Meiwa Hospital in Nishinomiya, Japan, describes using the adjuvant combination therapy of chemical peeling with 20 percent glycolic acid at pH 3.2 and subsequent iontophoresis using either Moisture Gel (containing vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B5, and β-carotene) or ascorbyl 2-phosphate 6-palmitate and DL-α-tocopherol phosphate in five patients with severe acne vulgaris. Chemical peeling and subsequent iontophoresis were performed four to six times at two to four week intervals.

According to Kurokawa, all patients exhibited remarkable improvement in acne severity, from severe to mild. There was also improvement in the number of total lesions, inflammatory lesions, and non-inflammatory lesions, as well as in post-inflammatory pigmentation. There was a marked decrease in the number of inflammatory lesions. In two of five cases, there were mild and transient adverse reactions after therapy, including redness and stinging.

"Based on these results, adjuvant combination therapy with chemical peeling using glycolic acid and subsequent iontophoresis with vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E appears to be an effective alternative therapy for treating severe acne vulgaris," Kurokawa writes. "Further comparative studies between more than two combinations of therapies should be necessary to confirm the effectiveness."

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